On Tuesday, November 21st 2017, a suicide car bomber targeted civilians at a busy market in Tuz Khurmatu, a town in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk. The attack left at least 32 dead and injured as many as 80.
Whilst the attack has not yet been claimed by any group, it is likely to have been perpetrated by ISIS. ISIS have been known to carry out attacks in the region and there are still areas west of Tuz Khurmatu that are thought to serve as hideouts for ISIS.
AOAV records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources. Last year, Iraq saw at least 6,359 civilian death and injuries from explosive violence reported in English-language media. Of these, 76% were caused by IEDs.
The numbers of civilians killed or injured by IEDs in Iraq increased by 19% last year despite the number of IED incidents decreasing (from 228 in 2015 to 207 in 2016). The number of civilians killed and injured by suicide attacks increased by 121%.
However, so far this year there has been a 46% decrease in the number of civilian casualties from IEDs in Iraq, when compared to the same period last year. Unfortunately, this has not contributed to an overall decrease in civilian casualties from explosive weapons in Iraq. In fact, the number of civilian casualties caused by explosive weapons has increased by 29% in 2017. This is due to the 505% increase in civilian casualties from air strikes in Iraq so far this year.
AOAV strongly condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all groups to reject the targeting of civilian areas. The use of weapons with wide-area impacts should also remain of concern; due to the severe impact these have on civilians.
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